EC search team recommends Frank Page
UPDATED 3:28 p.m. Friday, May 14, 2010.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)--Frank Page, vice president of evangelization for the North American Mission Board, will be nominated as the next president and chief executive officer of the Southern Baptist Convention Executive Committee, the chairman of that group has announced.
Randall James, assistant pastor of First Baptist Church in Orlando, Fla., said he was thankful for strength and guidance from God in the completion of the assignment.
"Our search team of committed servants of the Lord, which includes 6 men and 1 woman, has worked and traveled many long hours since last September in search of God's man for the job," James told Baptist Press. "In the face of much lobbying, yet striving to be still and listen to the Holy Spirit, we are unified in our belief that God has indeed revealed to us His man to replace Dr. [Morris H.] Chapman."
A vote on Page's nomination will be held June 14. If elected, he will succeed Chapman, who will retire Sept. 30 after 18 years in the post.
Page told BP he was humbled to be named, and praying about his possible new role.
"I'm honored to be considered for such an important position," he said. "My prayer is that in some small way I might help in bringing unity to our convention.
"My prayer is based on John 17:21, which tells us that our unity affects our evangelism, and we desperately need unity at such a crucial time with many competing opinions and agendas being expressed."
Page, who was elected to the North American Mission Board position in October 2009, is a former Southern Baptist Convention president and was pastor of First Baptist Church in Taylors, S.C., for nine years before joining NAMB. He is a member of the SBC's Great Commission Resurgence Task Force and was named to President Obama's Advisory Council on Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships in February 2009.
It was during his 2006-2008 tenure as SBC president that Page called upon NAMB to lead the convention in a new evangelism initiative that would involve all Southern Baptists in an effort to sweep the continent with the Gospel. That initiative became GPS: God's Plan for Sharing, which launched in the United States and Canada this spring.
In the recently released 2009 ACP data, Taylor's First Baptist Church reported 145 baptisms and primary worship service attendance of 2,310. The congregation gave $652,014, or 10.8 percent, through the Cooperative Program from total undesignated receipts of $6,052,088. According to the ACP, the church's total mission expenditures were $1,349,600, with $185,623 given for the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering for International Missions and $78,730 for the Annie Armstrong Easter Offering for North American Missions.
A native of Robbins, N.C., Page holds a Ph.D. in Christian ethics focusing on moral, social and ethical issues from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas, along with a master of divinity degree from Southwestern. He earned a bachelor of science degree with honors from Gardner-Webb University in North Carolina, majoring in psychology with minors in sociology and Greek.
Page is the author of several books, including "Trouble with the Tulip," an examination of the five points of Calvinism, and commentaries on the biblical books of Jonah and Mark. He also contributed as lead writer for the Advanced Continuing Witness Training material.
James said he would encourage Executive Committee members to continue to pray and he expressed deep appreciation for the work of those with him on the search committee.
"I challenge the EC members over the next 30 days to diligently seek God's face on this matter and respond ONLY according to the leading of His Spirit," James said. "I extend my humble thanks to [search committee members] Martha Lawley, Doug Melton, Clarence Cooper, David Dykes, Jay Shell, and Danny Sinquefield for a 'job well done.'"
Compiled by Mark Kelly, Baptist Press assistant editor, and Will Hall, BP executive editor.